Outsourcing, Automation, and the Joy of Assisted Living.

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Your time is your most valuable asset.

Everybody can make more money but nobody can make more time. {Tweet it.}

Everybody can make more tweet.

 

Since our baby arrived, Mike and I have learned – on a deeper level than before – how valuable an hour of our time is. So we’ve moved into assisted living.

In order to continue to grow our business, maintain our health, be present with our baby girl, and keep our home looking and feeling good, Mike and I have upped our outsourcing game in a big way.

When I first started my business I didn’t think I could afford to hire anyone to help me. I wasn’t making much money yet, so it was hard for me to justify paying someone else for something I knew I could do.

I quickly realized something, though:

Trying to do everything ourselves keeps us small. {Tweet it!}

Trying to do everything Tweet

 

Getting help in your life and in your business is one of the smartest ways to create a feeling of spaciousness and freedom on a daily basis. It also allows you to do bigger things than you are able to do alone.

You may have to contend with a little guilt for not being able to do everything yourself, or simply for choosing not to. You may have to deal with judgment from others about the fact that you’re not doing everything yourself.

But the ease and peace of mind you’ll feel when you get help with the tasks you aren’t good at and don’t like doing will be worth the initial discomfort.

I know I need to outsource something when:

  • I could pay someone less per hour to do it than I know I can earn in an hour.
  • I don’t like doing it.
  • I’m not particularly good at it.
  • I like doing it and I’m good at it, but I don’t want to be responsible for it all the time.


Here’s the full rundown of personal things we either outsource or automate to make our life and business run infinitely more smoothly than if we were trying to do everything ourselves:

 

  • Organic food delivery: We are members of Thrive Market, which is an online market that enables us to buy non-perishable organic products for a fraction of the price we’d usually pay at Whole Foods. We save a boatload of money and time. (When you click on the coupon image below you can receive 20% off your first Thrive order!)
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  • House cleaning: Neither Mike nor I love to clean the house but we do love a clean house, so this one is a no-brainer.
  • Meal preparation: We get healthy, locally-sourced meals from a company called WholeMade Meal Shares here in Portland.
  • Errands: Heidi from Mainely Errands comes once a week and helps us with grocery shopping, picking up dry cleaning, and random things like figuring out how to remove the wax that I spilled on my jeans.
  • Childcare: We have help with Penelope 10 hours a week so that Mike and I have dedicated times when we both know we can book calls and other things that require our full attention (or our full relaxation, like a massage).
  • Personal styling: I use Stitch Fix every couple of months to refresh my wardrobe with new pieces that I love. It saves me time shopping because someone else picks the clothes for me based on my style profile, and it helps me push my fashion envelope.  
  • Auto Order on supplements: We never have to think about re-ordering the supplements we take every day because we subscribe to them on auto order. We save money and mental space this way.

 

We also outsource a bunch of things in our business such as customer service, project management, graphic design, web programming, video editing, bookkeeping, and more.

Getting help in all these areas of our lives allows us to:

  • Be as present as we can with our daughter because we have a shorter mental list of the other things we “should” be doing while we’re spending time with her. (I can’t say this list doesn’t exist. It just doesn’t have as many things on it.)
  • Support the businesses of other entrepreneurs and independently employed people who do great work.
  • Focus on the things we love that we’re really good at and let someone else do the rest.

The extra money we spend is worth the time and energy saved times a million.

 

OVER TO YOU:

What’s one thing you don’t love doing that you could get help with in your life or business? What’s one thing you could simplify by automating? Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear your ideas!
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P.S. There’s still time to get in on the #MoneyLoveChallenge with the 11,000+ others who are creating more abundance through putting their loving attention on their money. Join the challenge for free until 2/3 at
www.moneylovechallenge.com.


*This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase a product or service through some of these links, I may be compensated. As always, I only recommend products and services that I wholeheartedly believe in and that I’ve personally benefited from.

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32 comments

  • Talia

    Does getting my hair cut/colored professionally count? I know I could color my hair at home, but really feel it is best to let a professional do it. I work (out of the house) and need to be groomed/professional. After a heavy snowfall this past weekend, I will most certainly hire someone to clear the sidewalk, walkways and drive way. My back insists! :)

  • One thing I have automated is paying my bills. I feel so much freedom knowing that I won’t miss a payment or get hit with a late fee. I keep a spreadsheet of what comes out when, and check my balances weekly. Out of sight out of mind does not apply when it comes to money. I also have money automatically deposited to a savings account and this year will be opening an IRA for the first time. Automation feels great!
    I am looking forward to implementing this in other areas as well. Thanks for the great suggestions Kate!

    • Kate Northrup

      I love this! Automating tasks around being smart with money is one of the best ways to be more abundant. Well done!

  • Talia

    @ Amy – my husband and I do the same. Not only is our pay automatically deposited, but our savings as well. When we are awarded raises, we roll that amount into savings too. Bills are automated, leaving no room for error. It gives us both a sense of security as well as a plan for the future.

  • I love the ideas you’ve given! I plan on hiring a VA soon (for my business) to take care of some marketing and editing. It’s not my favorite and it certainly isn’t my area of expertise so it takes me longer. Next on the list is getting healthy meal delivery!

  • My list is much like yours, Kate…the meal delivery service we use has been a game changer (I love cooking, but hate cleaning up, so we still went with it). I also read a book at you would love, if you haven’t already…it’s called I know how she does it by Laura Vanderkam. Well worth the read…changed my perspective on a whole lot.

  • Hannah

    You have inspired me to check out my local store’s option for shopping online (and then picking your order up in the drive though). I have three girls with dairy/gluten alleriges so we need certain foods, plus I buy a lot of organic. I am at the store about 4 times a week. I am growing my abundance and business–as I do the next thing on my list is to hire someone to clean my home. :-)
    Great ideas. Time to think big! There are so many options out there!

  • I also automate my bills – for my student loans, this means a slight reduction in interest as well! I have all the payment dates marked on my calendar and I’ve just recently started analyzing whether all my expenses are balanced across my two paychecks each month, or if I could shift things around to create more balance (and help me in my quest to pay off my credit card!).

    I also use IFTTT to automate things – adding contacts to a Google Spreadsheet, posting new blog links to social media, etc. I also use Latergramma and Tweetdeck to schedule and automate social media posts for work and personal – it’s so nice to know things are set up and I can forget about them!

  • Saryass Ee

    There’s something I don’t particularly like or dislike doing but I noticed it does TAKE UP ALOT OF MY TIME & ENERGY – Washing my clothes.
    The reason being I AM REALLY ANAL ABOUT THEM . I don’t trust my mum to do it anymore :( Help!!!!

  • Thanks for the post Kate- a very timely topic for me. I’ve been struggling with the thought of trying to justify hiring a person to clean house for me. I do it well, but hate to spend the time doing it, that I could be putting towards my business. I really get overwhelmed with this at times. Most bills are automated, there may be a few others that I could add to the list. Good food for thought! Now, to add to my task list – find a cleaning service! Do you have suggestions here? I’ve been asking around for neighbors that use this service, and it has not turned up any results. I think I’m going to have to check the ads, & interview….

    • Kate Northrup

      I asked friends to find our person. If you come up short Craigslist can work or local ads. You might need to go through a few before you find the one that works for you but it’s time well spent!

  • Tiffany Tatum

    I’m sorry if this is not the right place for this but I did not receive Day 2 and that seems like a pretty juicy one after having read Day 3. Can you help to have it resent to me?

  • Thank you:) the idea of spending money never grows short:) the idea of making more money though is the trick:) Ok Folks you can change the game:) Buy Art:) enliven your wonderful empty palaces and condos and one bedrooms with art:) by living artists:) how is that:)?so that the artists can start spreading their money on outsourcing their jobs so that they actually can create even more and better art:)

    Have a fun and inspiring day:) and as for training the creativity muscle:) turn to an artist, but please, leave him/her some money, because see we do what we do out of joy, and the money is usually the last thing that comes to an artist’s mind:) but hey – there is change in the air:):):)

  • Your social media. I noticed you’ve got links to the twitter feeds in your article etc. How do you mange this side of things. I follow Gary Veee and he talks a lot about him managing his own stuff in the beginning (fb, twitter, instagram, snapchat) when he was first growing his personal brand – which I’m currently doing with health coaching etc. – but I find that I can spend half the day just managing my social media which is not revenue producing but seems to be so important to staying relevant.

    How do you choose to mange your social media. I noticed Lauren above mentioned lettergramma and tweetdeck so I’ll check those out but wondered if you had other strategies you preferred?

    • Kate Northrup

      I really recommend using something like Hootsuite to schedule your posts so that you’re not in there all day. And write everything ahead of time so that when you go in you’re just there to post and get out. Also set a timer for social media so you’re not spending all day. Spend 10 minutes in the comments and then get out. You can also use Instagram to post on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all at once which I do a lot.

  • Thank you Kate for continuing to share you wisdom and yummy energy with us! I appreciate you!

  • Hi Kate,

    Thanks for the article. I believe in outsourcing, and I’m often telling people to get a team together, but actually I’m not doing the same. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough money at the moment, and I don’t know how to pay people, I want people to be fairly compensated. Recently I teamed up with a friend, to help me, and unfortunately that ended up going badly, now I’m even more scared.

    • Kate Northrup

      Just because it didn’t go well once doesn’t mean it won’t work again. What did you learn from partnering that you could carry forward? You can also find overseas help for less than $3/hr online so I bet you could start there!

  • Loretta

    I struggle with this concept thinkinh I should do it, can I afford it but I ended uo spending my free time doing these tasks. A few things I’ve automated bill payments so I never miss, prescheduling appointments like massage takes the hassel of debating if I should book and when. Meals Ive come to realize my parnter does it better so I cleanup instead and enjoy the meal so much more. House cleaning I just booked monthly and it feels so luxurious. Look forward to coming home to a clean house. Great ideas from others and Kate shows we value ourselves and our time.

  • I’ve outsourced vacuuming to a Roomba (robot)! With 3 cats and a dog it saves a lot of time!

    And I just ordered from Thrive Market a few weeks ago. That saved me from driving to three different grocery stores.

  • Great reminder Kate! Thank you, I needed that!:)

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